Announcement: I genuinely enjoy being single. Sure there are times I wish I had someone to spoon with, or that someone who isn’t my housemate would cook me dinner, but overall, single times equal good times. I can do what I want when I want to do it, I don’t need to confer with anyone when I suddenly change my weekend plans, and I don’t need to worry that the hot guy across the bar is making serious eye contact and OH MY GOD he’s walking in my direction…!!
However, I’ve realised a major flaw in my single happiness: practically none of my friends are single and therefore I cannot trip around London enjoying my single life with fellow singletons. If it’s a sunny day and I want some friends to go and sit in the park with, everyone’s already sitting in the park with their boyfriends. If I want to go and see a movie, everyone’s already seen it/planning on seeing it with their boyfriends. Same story for restaurants or bars. Who wants to go out for cocktails on Friday night? Sorry I’ve already got plans with my boyfriend.
Now, before you write me off as a relationship-hating lunatic who wants everyone to be single just so I have people to go and play with, let’s just get a few things straight. I do not resent my friends being in a relationship. I do not resent them spending time with their boyfriends. The issue I have is that it seems in many cases, the presence of a boyfriend eclipses the presence of friends. And that just doesn’t make sense to me.
I completely understand that in the first heady few months of a relationship, you want to spend as much time with your guy as possible. It’s that exciting period of getting to know each other and sharing experiences, building up a common ground and gradually falling in love. Naturally, other relationships become less of a priority.
When I was younger and only just out of high school, I was in a relationship that totally overshadowed my friendships. The guy was older than me, he was emotionally abusive and volatile and he managed to convince me that spending time with him and only him was all I needed. As a result, I didn’t stay in touch with most of my school friends. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but I do sometimes wonder whether I’d have a bigger group of friends now if I’d made the effort to nurture the platonic relationships I had back then. I was young; I made mistakes; and I’ve learnt from them. Girls do not need to disappear when they become someone’s girlfriend.
Now I could get all Hallmark and say things like “Girl Power!” and “Friends Forever!,” but then I might hate myself a little bit. So instead I’ll say this: By all means invest time and effort into your romantic relationships, and if my friends are happy then I’m happy for them. But the platonic relationships still need nurturing and no man will ever again convince me otherwise.